PM suggests prize for at least three children

May 10, 2010, Monday/ 17:04:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again expressed concern over the declining younger population in Turkey and suggested that his government may consider giving a “prize” to families that have at least three children.The prime minister’s remarks came during a wedding ceremony in İstanbul on Saturday. He did not hint on what the prize might be.

According to Erdoğan, Turkey’s annual population growth rate should be at least 2.5 percent. “However, there is a mistake with our current situation. If we continue the existing trend, 2038 will mark disaster for us. Therefore, we should ameliorate our situation. Maybe we will implement a prize, who knows?” he said.

The prime minister made his first entreaty to Turkish women to give birth to at least three children in April 2008, in a statement that was met with both support and criticism.

“You know, my request is at least three children for each family. I never said three would be enough. I said I want every family to have at least three children. This country has generations that know the real direction of their country,” Erdoğan stated on Saturday. The prime minister complained that Turkey’s annual population growth rate is now around 1.5 percent.

“This figure should be over 2.5 percent. This would preserve the existing situation. Those countries that urged family planning or birth control in the past are expressing regret now and encourage their populations to have more children through financial incentives. However, the desired population increase does not occur. Here, we are warning you that there is a pending problem we are faced with. If we continue this way, our situation in 2038 will be worse. We should correct it,” Erdoğan added.

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